Halloween took an unusually scary turn last year in Lahoma, Oklahoma, when a group of adult men dressed up as members of the Ku Klux Klan and went for a joyride in a golf cart to scare trick or treaters. According to witnesses, the men were drinking beer and possibly even wielding chainsaws. Things got even scarier when the white-robed yahoos returned to the property of Cary Sharp, lit torches, and planted a large cross on the lawn. Even more alarming: Cary Sharp is married to Lahoma mayor Theresa Sharp.
Misty Meister is the Lahoma neighbor who called 911 to report the KKK incident. She did not see any humor in what Sharp insists was just a Halloween prank. “Unfortunately, now this is something we have to talk to our children about,” she told the Enid News and Eagle. “We are a small community, and in no way do I feel this represents our views as a whole,” she said. Lahoma is a town of about six hundred people, located roughly two hours north of Oklahoma City. Talking to children about the terrible legacy of the Ku Klux Klan might not be a bad thing, actually, especially since the group is in the news again what with Anonymous outing real live KKK-affiliated politicians.
Mayor Theresa Sharp was out trick-or-treating with her son when the incident happened, and she seemed close to tears when she spoke to reporters about the incident. While the sheriff stated that Sharp and his friends could not be arrested, that was before witnesses stepped forward to mention the golf cart, the open containers, and the chainsaw.
Note to everyone reading this: do not dress up as a member of the Ku Klux Klan and think you can pass it off as a Halloween costume. Ever.
Seriously. There are plenty of lists out there advising people what not to wear for Halloween. Children should not dress like packs of cigarettes, for instance, and literally no one should dress like Caitlyn Jenner. People ought to know by now that blackface is terrible, and that white police officers should not dress as Bob Marley. American Indian costumes should also be avoided, a lesson recently learned by openly gay Olympic skier and enthusiastic selfie-taker Gus Kenworthy. The overnight celebrity donned a headdress for a Halloween party, and his more culturally aware fans shamed him until he took the photos down from his Instagram and kinda-sorta issued an apology. Seriously, if you’re going to dress up for halloween just stick to scary costumes and, if you absolutely must, slutty takes on animal memes.
(featured image: Ku Klux Klan rally, 1967, Anderson, SC; via Historical Photo Collection)
Previously published November 3, 2015.